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VWN World Review: Cybertown
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World Review: Cybertown


 
Main Review

Compatible with Operating Systems:
Win 98 Win 98se Win 2K Win XP

World Status: Lingering Demise


World Purpose: Cyberspace-Utopia

Age Suitability: Young Adults, Mature Adults


World-Type

Cybertown was Blaxxun?s creation of the mid 1990s, designed to showcase the capabilities of VRML. It still exists today, serving as a social environment for a modest userbase. The technology may look and feel dated, but Cybertown represents VRML at its peak.

Sadly, that peak was early and steep. Cybernet consists of a series of 2D chartrooms, on different topics, except that each chatroom has a 3D option, which loads the room as a 3D area, complete with unique scenery, and fully navigable via your avatar.

The World in Brief

Cybertown is based to a large extent around the ?Snowcrash? novel, and includes several locales from that icon of virtual reality, or cyberspace. Unfortunately, the landscape feels flimsy, most walls are paper-thin, and show it, giving a feeling of being on a film set. On top of that, the limited size of each world makes exploring a brief affair (VRML insists that an entire world loads before you may explore any of it).

That might not be such a problem, however the lack of interactivity puts the onus on the community to make it worthwhile. The community itself is good. It is not numerous, barely a hundred individuals, but it is strong, and very talkative. You could sit and take it in for hours. Sadly, unless you pay a membership fee, that is all you can do. With the exception of two worlds, tourist accounts are forbidden from adding to the chat, and may only watch it.

This barrier to new people is further complicated by the naming system: paid members are allowed to choose a name. Everyone else is assigned the name Tourist, followed by a random number that changes each time you log in. This makes it impossible to build any lasting friendships unless you pay.


The infamous Black Sun club

 

Sub Reviews

Here at Virtual Worldlets, we look at all worlds, whether for entertainment, training, medicare, industry or military use. Thus, we have the situation where different uses judge by different criteria. Below are a series of sub-reviews, each tailored to a different aspect of the world.

Explorers
For some, its the thrill of discovery, the freedom to strike out, to pioneer. Whether its mapping new lands, or exploring unknown fields of endeavour, to be first, to boldly go, this is what explorers live for.

A handful of worlds, created quite well considering the tools they had to work with, some having multiple rooms within them, will give explorers something to do for a single afternoon. Afte that, you have seen everything there is to see.

Some of the worlds are broken in that you can slip past the world border. However, ll this gives you is a flat plain of nothingness extending forever.

 

Socialisers
The social life is the life for you. To chat, to roam, to gossip all day, and chatter all night. You are the heart of the party, and you are the soul. The drive to chatter, the need to gossip, stretching out, making connections, mind against mind, heart against heart. It keeps you going, it keeps you sane.

The community is very dynamic, and it has the feel of an exclusive chatroom. Those that run them moderate some worlds, others are freeform. However, the inability for new people to chat in most worlds, is off-putting, as is the inability for new people to have fixed names ? instead each is assigned the name Tourist, followed by a random number that changes each time they log in. This makes long-term contacts impossible unless you sign in, and large sections of the community do seem jaded against helping new people for precisely this reason ? likely never see this person again, or recognise them if they do.

 

 

Overall
A blast from the past, Cybertown is a reminder that we have actually moved on since VRML came out, and also a reminder why the technology died out. Cybertown is worth a visit for curiosity?s sake, if nothing else.


Normal appearance of the chatrooms

 

Rating 41 / 100
Newbie Friendliness
6.0
/ 15
Community Values
10.5
/ 15
Believability
2.0
/ 15
Immersion
2.0
/ 15
Administration
3.0
/ 10
Automated help
3.5
/ 10
Code Integrity
9.5
/ 10
Entertainment
4.5
/ 10

Visit World Homesite

Client OS:Win 2K, Win 98, Win 2K, Win 2K

World Purpose:

Age Suitability:



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